Murlo Holiday Dinner (Preparing & Hosting)

Turkey Dinner

Our complete Holiday Dinner (Preparing & Hosting) is geared toward the novice cook who wishes to host a Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter to name a few hosting events.  You will be sure to impress your guests!

This step-by-step guide will move you though the suggested items for your big day.  Also, have provided all the recipes needed to prepare a turkey or chicken dinner, side dishes and finally, kitchen tips to table presentation.

This blog may appear daunting but we have your back!

Turkey Dinner

Above Feature Photo Items: Roasted turkey, creamy mashed potatoesAunt Helen’s stuffing, gravy, corn, candied sweet potatoes, Pistachio Wheat Salad, white wine, Christmas cracker, dinnerware, and serving dishes.  Missing: Three Bean Salad.

We published a short video on our Murlo Discovery Channel called Holiday Dinner (Preparing & Hosting) to provide a brief overview of images of the process and completed items.

Plan and Read Ahead Before Starting!
It is strongly recommended to plan a week in advance of the big day and at least three days in advance of the meal to organize & prepare.  Review all the information below before you begin.

Christmas Cracker

Suggested Material Checklist
Here are some material items to consider, some optional and others that will add atmosphere for your guests to enjoy.  Add your own items to the checklist!

  1. RSVP (optional)
  2. Plates & silverware (utensils)
  3. Seating name cards (1) (optional)
  4. Secondary plates & utensils for side dishes & dessert
  5. Cloth napkins.  Use seasonal items to add some festive flavour!
  6. Serving trays,
  7. Serving bowls (for: gravy, potatoes, dressing, vegetables (2), yams)
  8. Dish(es) for butter
  9. Serving spoons
  10. Soda and your favourite fruit juice to make a non-alcoholic punch
  11. Quality plastic containers to refrigerate or freeze leftovers
  12. Water Picture and/or punch bowl
  13. Gravy strainer
  14. Wine glasses
  15. TV trays/card table for extra seating
  16. Seasonal table center piece (optional)
  17. Pull apart Christmas crackers (place on each plate prior to serving the meal)
  18. Background seasonal music
  19. Candles (optional)
  20. Carving  knife for the turkey
  21. Plastic wrap and tin foil

(1) You may want to consider mixing up the seating arrangement through a random name draw.  This will give everyone an opportunity to meet someone new or to get reacquainted over dinner!

Aunt Helen's Stuffing

Getting Ready
Follow the links to each great meal item.
1. Roasted Turkey & Preparation
2. Stuffing
3. Appetizer(s)
4. Creamy Mashed Potatoes
5. Candied Sweet Potatoes
6. Gravy
7. Vegetables
8. Optional Food Items
9. Dessert
10. Wine
11. Leftover Options

Roasted Turkey/Chicken

1. Turkey
We provide our own basic roasted turkey recipe that has served us well over the years.

2. Stuffing
We offer Aunt Helen’s Stuffing recipe as a suggestion which we have served for decades.

3. Appetizers
a) Murlo has an Appetizer and Snack Blog to give you some ideas for the big day.
b) Pre-cooked shrimp or a shrimp ring with shrimp sauce is also a nice option.
c) Consider two unique cheese varieties.  (stick to a mild or medium style domestic cheese to be safe)
d) Other simple and quick hors d’oeuvres ideas  are Breton cracker with a spreadable cream cheese, or a hot red pepper jelly, or an apple & fig spread.  Include all three for variety! 

Sweet Potatoes

4. Creamy Mashed Potatoes

As a general rule for mashed potatoes, plan for at least a 1/2 pound of potatoes per person.  Murlo plans for 3/4 pound per person as people tend to pile on the mashed potatoes and you may want leftovers for the next day or two.  You will need to purchase a minimum 5 pound bag of potatoes, but we recommend a 10 pound bag using 7.5 pounds or 8 large potatoes.

5. Candied Sweet Potato
Murlo will cook three large yams for 10 adult guests.  Our Candied Yam (link) recipe is an option to consider as there are many.

6. Gravy
Murlo has a standard turkey/chicken gravy recipe for you to consider.

7. Vegetables
We prepare one additional vegetable side dish like corn three bean salad or cranberries.  Something that is not a potato dish.

8. Optional Food Items
Pickles, olives, salad, cranberries, jelly salad, dinner rolls, cabbage rolls and wine to name a few items people include in their Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner.

9. Dessert
Murlo has a variety of desserts for your consideration or use one of your own to put an exclamation mark on an awesome meal!  Two desserts were prepared for this meal, Pistachio Wheat Salad and Pineapple Delight   Additional Dessert recipes are available on the Murlo Blog Page

Turkey Gravy

10. Wine
If your guests enjoy wine and you are not sure what their taste preference is in terms of red or white wine.

Murlo recommends purchasing one red wine and two white wines, usually a Sauvignon Blanc or a Pino Grigio to be on the safe side.  Refer to Murlo’s Wine Blog and Beverage Blog for some ideas to get you started.

11. Leftover Options
You will have leftovers!!!  We enjoy the variety of options leftovers provide and here are some of things we do with turkey or chicken leftovers.  Check back regularly as we will be adding more recipes.

a)  Turkey, chicken, ham on a bun!  Simple.  Place meat on a fresh dinner roll.  Add butter, mayonnaise, pepper & salt to taste.
b)  Turkey/Chicken Wild Rice Soup    This recipe includes making the soup stock and soup.
c)  Homemade Egg Noodle & Turkey Soup
D)  Turkey/Chicken Pie (TBA)

Formal Dinner Table Placement
The following information is courtesy of Singapore Brides

It is actually a very simple and logical rule with utensils – always start from the outside of your place setting, and work your way towards the service plate: soup spoon first, then fish knife and fork, then service knife and fork.  The same placement chart is also available at Kitchen Hacks & Gadgets.

a. Napkin
b. Side plate and butter knife
c. Salad fork
d. Fish fork
e. Dinner fork
f. Service plate.
g. Dinner Knife
h. Salad knife
i. Soup spoon
j. Red wine glass
k. White wine glass
l. Water glass
m. Dessert fork and spoon

Pistachio Wheat Salad

Final Comments & Notes
1. There are hundreds of combinations and variations to the above dinner.  Have fun experimenting!

2. Our dinner is one that we have refined over the years to suit our taste preference.  We recommend you have fun to create you own unique classic dinner and family tradition.

3. The type of side dishes you serve is entirely up to you and vary depending on your culture and food preference.

4. You may substitute chicken for turkey.  Why not!

5.  We will be adding additional food items for an Easter Dinner so check back regularly.

You got this! Enjoy your dinner!!

3 Responses to “Murlo Holiday Dinner (Preparing & Hosting)”